Esports was a hobby many dismissed as not serious. Yet, competitive video gaming evolved and as players became keener to show off their skills, so did the demand for esports grow. Nobody was really sure how the industry would develop in the early days, with scepticism still reigning. Today, though, entire esports teams have turned millionaires out of their passion for video gaming.
Whether you look at Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, or another esports title, you can see many success stories there. We introduce you to the highest-earning esports teams factoring in their branding but mostly focusing on their ability to generate revenue through conquering esports events.
Some have been around longer than others which justifies their higher earnings in esports, while others are only getting started. Naturally, some games do pay more than others. This doesn’t mean they require more or less in terms of skill. A good esports team knows how to diversify their income, and that is precisely what is happening here. Let’s have a look at the teams with the fattest purses and how they got there!
#1 Team Liquid
- Games: Apex Legends, Artifact, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Clash Royale, Fortnite, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Free Fire, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, Rocket League, PUBG, StarCraft II, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Tekken 7, Rainbow 6: Siege, VALORANT
- Earnings: $44,336,025.93
- Tournaments: 2515
- Partners: Alienware, Honda, IMC Trading, HyperX, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Marvel Entertainment, Monster Energy, Secretlab, SAP SE, Twitch
Team Liquid is one of the first esports organizations. The team is known for its early-day forays into Starcraft: Brood War, arguably the most competitive video game on the planet, requiring a level of skill that not many players have been able to achieve. As a result, Team Liquid has cultivated some of the most reputable players in the game.
However, Liquid, as fans colloquially refer to the organization, was keen to build on its legacy and in 2012 broke into Dota 2, quickly expanding into new games in the years to follow. A merger in 2015 with Team Curse expanded the scope of available games the organization was now ready to compete in.
Curse had an established presence in several games, including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Street Fighter. Where Liquid went, growth followed. The organization ponied up for an LCS franchised slot and is still one of the most successful teams in both Dota 2 and League of Legends.
Liquid’s winnings today stand at $44,336,025.93, and a lot of that came from winning Dota 2 tournaments, which historically have some of the biggest prize money around. Players can enjoy significant payoffs, and the team won The International in 2017, which sported a $24 million prize purse. Liquid bagged $10,862,683 for their first place.
Today, the team has numerous partners, including Alienware, Honda, Monster Energy, Marvel Entertainment, and many others.
- Founded: 2015
- Games: Dota 2
- Earnings: $37,753,866.44
- Tournaments: 165
- Partners: Red Bull, BMW, Fun88, SteelSeries, Secretlab, DMScript
The fact that OG is the second highest-earning esports team doesn’t exactly surprise given their primary focus – Dota 2. As the highest-paying game on record, OG has been able to secure back-to-back victories in The International, the best-paying single esports event in the history of competitive gaming.
OG managed to win two editions in two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019, making history in the process. The odds had them as strong favorites for the 2020 edition, but that had to be postponed until 2021 and then subsequently moved to Bucharest, Romania, as fears of resurging COVID-19 increased.
The organization has only competed in 116 tournaments, but it is quickly closing in on Team Liquid. OG is exclusively focused on Dota 2, and while the team achieved a lot of success in the past years, some former members have retired as they have decided that winning millions off The International was all the motivation they needed to turn in early.
In this context, the team is heading for another ambitious event in Dota 2, hoping to add to their riches. Winning a third time in a row will be another milestone that not even the best teams have achieved, and the game has been out for over a decade now.
#3 Evil Geniuses
- Founded: 1999
- Games: Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT, Overwatch, Rainbow 6: Siege, Rocket League,
- Earnings: $27,077,521.06
- Tournaments: 984
- Partners: Twitch, Secretlab, Monster Energy, LG UltraGear, coinbase, Absolut, PEAK6
Evil Geniuses is possibly one of the oldest competitive franchises in video gaming. The team has been around since 1999, and they have amassed significant winnings over the period, with their esports earnings exceeding $27 million across 880 tournaments.
The team competes in numerous mainstream disciplines today, including Dota 2, League of Legends, and various shooters such as Overwatch, VALORANT, and Rainbow 6: Siege, to name a few. EG’s vast arsenal of skills, expertise, and experience makes them one of the most successful teams to enter esports games and conquer the very summits of competitive gaming.
The team finished 3rd in three individual The International events and won the grand prize during The International 2015. Dota 2 is not the only game the team competes in. EG is the dominant force in League of Legends in North America as well, and they have been successfully working on expanding their footprint in more esports games.
#4 Team Spirit
- Founded: 2015
- Games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone
- Earnings: $21,882,365.40
- Tournaments: 200
- Partners: Nike, Red Bull, 1xBet, HyperX, Bitget
Having been founded in 2015 as a Dota 2 organization, the team that was originally based in Moscow has expanded into multiple other titles. Many of these such as CS:GO, are ones that are quite popular in Eastern Europe as a whole, explaining why the region is famous for producing world-class players in these games. In February of last year, the organization announced that it is moving its base to Belgrade, Serbia, in no small part due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the team seems to have been performing quite well, managing to become one of the highest-earning esports organizations in the world.
#5 Natus Vincere
- Founded: 2009
- Games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, Fortnite, Paladins, World of Tank, League of Legends, PUBG, Rainbow 6: Siege, Apex Legends
- Earnings: $20,508,138.91
- Tournaments: 685
- Partners: Monster Energy, Logitech, Philips, Tinkoff Bank, Raid: Shadow Legends, AndaSeat, GG.BET
Natus Vincere was the first team to win a massive prize pool from an esports event in history with the organization’s Dota 2 team members Puppy and Dendi leading the team to victory in 2011 and winning The International. The achievement marked a turning point in esports as a whole, as it demonstrated that gamers could procure instant riches.
Truthfully, though, a lot of effort went into that win. Natus Vincere, or Na’Vi as fans know them, have been training rigorously for over three years prior to their win and were already one of the best teams in the game. This resulted in Na’Vi briefly imposing its hegemony on Dota 2 but has since been posting middling performances at best.
The organization still has some of the highest overall earnings esports games can generate you: $20,508,138.91 in present-day winnings. Speaking of games, Na’vi is heavily represented across numerous titles today, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, Rainbow 6: Siege, League of Legends, PUBG, Fortnite, and others.
- Founded: 2011
- Games: League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT, Rainbow 6: Siege, FIFA, and Fortnite
- Earnings: $19,799,264.75
- Tournaments: 1105
- Partners: AMD, Anda Seat, BMW, Fnatic Gear, Hisense, Jack Link’s, Letou, Monster Energy, OnePlus, Parimatch
Fnatic is one of the most significant esports franchises, and so far as prize money goes, the team has won a fair bit over the years. Presently, Fnatic’s earnings stand at $19,799,264.75, and the team has active squads in numerous high-tier games and tournaments.
Today, the organization has active combat rosters in League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT, Rainbow 6: Siege, FIFA, and Fortnite, focusing on select titles in the esports space and ensuring that the players it fields are up to the task of winning for their team.
Fnatic has indeed been able to cultivate some of the best-performing teams in the world. The organization has undergone some restructuring, and it has foregone other established titles such as PUBG, Smite, and others. All of this, however, has resulted in the organization dropping by a few places on the total earnings metric, from a previous #4 on the list in 2021.
#7 Team Secret
- Founded: 2014
- Games: Dota 2, Rainbow 6: Siege, PUBG Mobile, League of Legends, Wild Rift
- Earnings: $19,778,355.44
- Tournaments: 382
- Partners: MetaThreads, GG.Bet, Nvidia
Team Secret has a very strong showing in numerous esports competitions, including but not limited to Dota 2, League of Legends, and Rainbow 6: Siege. Secret has amassed $12,314,677.66 in winnings across 296 tournaments, and while they are strong contenders in every competitive season, the organization as a whole has not been able to win the most distinctive achievements in its chosen esports games.
Team Secret has competed in eight International events and has been fairly well-represented in League of Legends, albeit not at the same level as the Dota 2 team. As a professional esports organization, though, Secret is still missing some notable titles, such as Starcraft Overwatch, and Hearthstone.
#8 Paris Saint-Germain Esports
- Founded: 2016
- Games: FIFA, League of Legends, Dota 2, FIFA Online, Brawl Stars, Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Rocket League
- Earnings: $18 749 571
- Tournaments: 155
- Partners: Tundra Esports, Dior, Betway, Talon Esports, LGD Gaming
A relative newcomer to this list, PSG has always been a club popular for its football prowess. However, since 2016, the organization has jumped into esports, initially starting out, aptly, by fielding a squad for FIFA. What followed was a fast growth into many other titles, such as the obviously football-themed Rocket League, as well as numerous mobile titles.
Interestingly, the organization stayed away from the FPS genre, which is often considered to be one of the most popular and lucrative ones. This all changed when in 2022 PSG entered Rainbow6: Siege in Japan, during the country’s league’s second official year.
- Founded: 2003
- Games: Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rainbow 6: Siege, PUBG, Fortnite
- Earnings: $18,618,304.55
- Tournaments: 614
- Partners: Parimatch, HyperX, Haval, Halls, Kingston FURY
Virtus.pro is one of the oldest esports franchises in Russia and a global force to be reckoned with in the esports gaming space. The team’s earnings of $16 million place it as one of the most successful organizations in the history of esports, and that is a well-deserved title. Both the Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rosters have been performing well without fail.
Virtus.pro has not missed almost any big event as the team has repeatedly delivered and managed to qualify for some of the most prestigious championships winning a series of distinctions. In CS:GO, the team holds numerous S-Tier first finishers with a few second finishers.
Meanwhile, VP has been fairly quiet on other fronts, with their last distinction in Dota 2 being the Kuala Lumpur Major, which the team won in 2018 against Team Secret in an epic 5-game series. Today, Virtus.pro remains an important contender and one of the richest esports teams in history.
#10 FaZe Clan
- Founded: 2010
- Games: Call of Duty, CS: GO, PUBG, Rainbow 6: Siege, Halo Infinite, VALORANT, Fortnite Battle Royale, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Earnings: $16,383,282.34
- Tournaments: 636
- Partners: G Fuel, Champion, Nissan, Manchester City FC, New Era, Kappa, DC Comics, Nike, GHOST Energy, Porsche
There are few names more popular in the world of competitive FPS games as that of FaZe Clan, an organization that first became popular in the early 2010s largely due to the skills of its Call of Duty players. Originally a Call of Duty clan founded by three players, Eric “CLipZ” Rivera, Jeff “House Cat” Emann (now known as “Timid”), and Ben “Resistance” Christensen The trio quickly became famous thanks to their YouTube channel where they featured gameplay with innovative trickshots in CoD: MW2.
Riding this popularity in the early 2010s, the group grew quickly and started competing in various titles, earning many trophies along the way. Later on, FaZe expanded into the entertainment and streaming sphere where, until today, it hosts a multitude of popular content creators and professional players.